William Joseph Bransfield
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AGE: 87 • Metuchen
William Joseph Bransfield slipped quietly into eternal life on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, NJ. Bill was born in Staten Island, N.Y. on July 21, 1925. He attended Port Richmond High School and joined the Marines directly after graduation for active duty during WWII. He served with the Third Marine Division from September 1943 to May 1946. Bill was a Demolition and Bomb Disposal Specialist and a Frogman and served in the South Pacific. He was on Iwo Jima with the 2nd Battalion. Bill landed on Iwo Jima on February 21, 1945 and spent 24 days there. His mission was to defuse bombs on the island and while there he witnessed the flag raising on Iwo Jima. After R&R on Guam, Bill was part of the Occupational Forces in Sasebo, Japan for three months and was then stationed in Tientsin, China for Repatriation Duty. After the war, Bill took advantage of the GI Bill and attended Wagner College on Staten Island, playing football while there. He transferred to the University of Missouri and studied Civil Engineering.
Upon moving back to Staten Island, he began work at Edwards & Kelsey Consulting Engineers in Newark, NJ. During his career Bill undertook many varied projects, as he liked to say from, "sewers to satellites". He worked on the layout of the New Jersey Turnpike through the swamps of Secaucus, projects for the Navy in Keflavik, Iceland and the Arctic Circle, design and supervision of the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Parking Garage in NYC and the earthen dam at Round Valley, NJ. Bill then moved into Satellite Communications and completed the next 15 years of his career as a Project Manager at Western Union in Mahwah, NJ and retired in 1988.
Bill had great enthusiasm for his family and community. He moved to Dumont, NJ in 1955 and then to Metuchen, NJ in 1966. He was a Little League Coach, sang in the male choir under Mrs. Minter at St. Francis of Assisi, belonged to the St. Francis of Assisi Mr. & Mrs. Club, he was a driver for Meals on Wheels, a Community Service Director in the local Metuchen Chapter of the AARP, Bill was a member of the John Basilone Marine Corp League, a Grand Marshal for the 2006 Metuchen Memorial Day Parade, volunteered with Bingo at Menlo Park Veterans Home and was an active member of The Friends of the Metuchen Library. We all enjoyed Bill's wonderful sense of humor. He loved gardening and his specialty was tomatoes. He enjoyed swimming and walking his beloved dogs. Bill came from a musical family, he loved to sing, played the harmonica and appreciated all types of music.
Bill was predeceased by his beloved mother Sarah Ann Drandorff and father James Joseph Bransfield as well as his sister Eileen Sorensen-Heffernan. He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Bernice M. Bransfield and five children - Kevin B. Bransfield and his wife Charlotte Morrison of Capitola, CA, Neil W. Bransfield and his wife Angie Greig of Seattle, WA, Mary Sarah Bransfield of Chicago, IL, Daniel J. Bransfield and his wife Jennifer of Portland, OR, Claire M. Bransfield of Branchburg, NJ and grandchildren Dylan, David (deceased), Benjamin, William and Shannon.
Visitation hours will be at the Costello-Runyon Funeral Home at 568 Middlesex Ave Metuchen, NJ on Friday, November 16 from 2-4 and 7-9pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, November 17 at 9:30am at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Main Street, Metuchen. Interment will follow at Hillside Cemetery, 52 Lincoln Ave, Metuchen, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Msgr. Richard Behl's Pontifical Mission Society. PO Box 191 Metuchen NJ 08840; 732-562-1990 x1703.
Published in Home News Tribune from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16, 2012